Biden to travel to East Palestine to mark one year of train derailment

President Biden will travel to East Palestine on Feb. 16, a little more than a year a since the derailment of a Norfolk Southern train carrying toxic chemicals near the town.

“[T]he President will travel to East Palestine, Ohio to discuss how the Administration is continuing to work with state and local officials to hold Norfolk Southern accountable and support the community as it moves forward,” the White House said in an advisory Saturday.

“The President will discuss his commitment to ensuring the people of East Palestine are not defined by this single event, and that his administration is delivering on the needs of families, businesses, and affected residents,” the advisory continued.

The train that derailed near the town spilled dangerous chemicals including vinyl chloride in the area, which has resulted in increased environmental and health concerns in the area.

The White House also noted the upcoming trip at the end of last month, but the date was not specified at the time. The president’s visit to the Ohio town follows his comments from March last year, in which he said he vowed to visit “at some point.” 

The president has faced criticism from Republicans for not making the trip to the Buckeye State town, with his main rival for the 2024 presidential race, former President Trump, visiting East Palestine in February of last year to bring supplies and offer support to the community.

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) recently noted concerns about the situation from constituents in the area.

“People are still concerned about the cleanup efforts, making sure you actually clean up the community, they’re worried about the long-term health consequences,” Vance told The Hill.

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